Atheistic evidence or criteria for proof of God
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22-12-2013, 02:48 PM
RE: Atheistic evidence or criteria for proof of God
(22-12-2013 12:14 PM)λάθε βιώσας Wrote:  this is noble, very admirable... Buddha certainly exists and Buddhism is theistic.

the thread can be about any religion or god really, there are so many versions of them it's alot of times hard to take in.

Is a statue all the evidence you need that Buddha exists? it is not so confusing for the masses I believe.

I have nothing against Buddha or his statue... my neighbor has one.

You are implying that because there are statues of Buddha, that this makes Buddhism theistic? There are statues of political figureheads and scholars and famous athletes too - so does that mean that Abraham Lincoln is a deity because there are statues of him?
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22-12-2013, 02:58 PM (This post was last modified: 22-12-2013 03:01 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Atheistic evidence or criteria for proof of God
(22-12-2013 12:14 PM)λάθε βιώσας Wrote:  Buddha certainly exists and Buddhism is theistic.

Buddha is dead. Archaeologists have discovered his ashes.
Before you determine what the criteria are for (a) "god" (whatever that means),
you must define coherently what the word "god" refers to, or means.
It has no meaning, in 2013. There is no coherent definition of "god".
It's a (assumed) meme from the ancient past, and has no generally agreed upon meaning content today.
Get over it.
Get busy, and go out and play.

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Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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22-12-2013, 03:22 PM
RE: Atheistic evidence or criteria for proof of God
(22-12-2013 02:01 AM)λάθε βιώσας Wrote:  
(22-12-2013 01:57 AM)natachan Wrote:  First define what you mean by god. Energy? Consciousness? The set of laws that govern the universe? A supernatural intelligence? What are its qualities?

Tell me what you mean and I'll tell you, specifically, the proof I would need.

I have no definition, I practice no religion and I am non-religious.

I seek a definition from someone who does not believe in theism.

What is it to you how someone else defines anything?

If you seek something that most people here don't believe well then, you are on your own.

If you seek a definition outside yourself it will be just as useless to you as it would be to anyone else.

Now piss off, troll. Drinking Beverage

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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22-12-2013, 03:33 PM (This post was last modified: 22-12-2013 03:42 PM by Reltzik.)
RE: Atheistic evidence or criteria for proof of God
(21-12-2013 11:26 PM)λάθε βιώσας Wrote:  I often times ask myself that if I am to choose a solid philosophical belief system or ideal instead of bouncing all about the place over truly the only 3 outlooks (Theism, Agnostic, Atheism) that I need to place criteria on all 3 before I make a decision. This thread will attempt to discover and determine what it is that philosophical atheism would accept as proof...

When it comes to my atheistic side I can't quite define what it is I would accept as evidence of God (or) gods and theistic creation.

I would like to get some advanced ideals from solid atheists on this matter... anyone can chime in of course but I prefer those who are rooted solid in one ideology or the other.

I am kind of in limbo but consider myself all 3 ideologies... if I am allowed to use it to describe my thoughts? I like them all, and often times one day to the next.

.... okay, I think you should take the following 2 steps. I'll provide a quick summary and then go back into them in more detail later.

(1) Come to a clear definition of terms. What EXACTLY does a theistic outlook, or an atheistic outlook, or an agnostic outlook mean? I suggest you delve into dictionaries and encyclopedias for this. If you're just trying to figure things out for yourself, go with any working definition you want. If you're planning to talk about it with others, try to figure out what definitions are in common usage so that you'll be able to talk to them and be understood. Unfortunately, there's a multitude of definitions in common usage.

(2) Ask yourself what significance the world being one way or the other would have. What would its implications be? What would its consequences be? If it has no consequences, would it matter?

Going back to (1), let's look at the notion of theism. Theism typically has a precise definition of a belief in (or a state of) the existence of one or more personal, interventionalist gods. That is to say, these gods are persons, at least so far as they have personalities, memories, thought processes, consciousness, and can be distinguished from the rest of the universe, and that they also interfere now and then in reality, through some act of divine intervention (anything from making its will known through some sublime communication to actively causing miracles). It can be contrasted not only with a disbelief that any sort of gods exist, but also a belief in a non-intervening god (typically referred to as Deism, though Deism specifically requires such a god to be a Creator deity who set the world spinning and left it to its own devices), and to pantheism (the belief in a non-personal god which is essentially the entire universe made conscious), and others beside. However, some people use the word "theism" to refer to the belief in the existence of any sort of god. Others may restrict it to a belief in a particular god or pantheon, usually the one of their own religion or culture. Even in these cases, there's usually doctrinal divides over what the nature or significant qualities of the god(s) in question, and you might want to sort through those as well.

In coming up with your definition of what sort of god you are trying to figure out if it does or doesn't exist, make sure you don't make your definition to broad. Use the toaster test. If your definition is so broad that your toaster qualifies as a god, you need to narrow it some. "I think that there's something out there." TOASTER! Or, "I'm confident that God burnt that image of the Virgin Mary into the toast." TOASTER! Also, be sure it passes the dog test, the gravity test, etc. "There's an energy that surrounds us, and penetrates us, and binds the galaxy together." GRAVITY! If you think that your toaster could reasonably designated a god, feel free to ignore this step.

In particular, be aware that each notion of god is its own option, and it's possible to believe in one, many, or none of them, though some are described such that they are mutually exclusive with others. Lumping them all into a single category of "I believe in some of these" might be a way of arguing against atheism by popular weight (though that's really a bad argument), but so would be lumping them into any other categorical arrangment be used that way. "Most of the world doesn't believe in the Christian notion of God." (A large chunk does... less if you parse the various notions of a Christian God separately... but not a majority.)

Atheism has about half a dozen different definitions floating around out there. The two most common are, "Does not believe theism is true" and "Strongly believes that theism is outright false". The distinction is in reserved judgement or uncertainty. If you are uncertain, then you qualify as an atheist under the first definition, but not the second. Of course, THIS question hinges on what definition of theism you are using, so multiply those two possibilities times every possible definition of theism, or simply apply it to whichever definition of theism you are using. Be sure to use the same definition here that you used for theism! For example, if you are using the personal, interventionalist definition for what theism believes in, and the any-type-of-god for what atheism does not believe in, you've left the deistic possibility out of your consideration entirely.

"Agnostic" typically refers to one's degree of uncertainty. It hinges on your definitions of theism and atheism. You probably are pretty certain that Skippy the Wonder Poodle is not a god, so you probably aren't agnostic for that definition of theism, even if you might be agnostic for the more conventional Christian deity. That's how "agnostic" hinges on the definition for theism. Of the two definitions of atheism that I've provided, the one that believes "theism is outright false" is fairly exclusive with agnosticism, making agnosticism a third category. This seems to be what you're doing. However, if you're going with the definition of atheism as simply someone who doesn't believe in theism, including those who are uncertain, then "agnostic" becomes a qualifier. You can have an "agnostic atheist", who believes that theism is false but isn't strongly confident. You can also apply this modifier to, say, a Christian, leading to an agnostic Christian who believes but has strong doubts. (This is usually contrasted with "gnostic" as a qualifier, eg, gnostic atheist, but I don't like that because "gnostic Christian" already refers to a specific branch of Christian dogma, Gnosticism.) Finally, how certain does one have to be to be agnostic? If you're 70% certain, is that enough to lose the agnostic label? 95%? Does it have to be 100%? This is also part of your definition of agnostic.

(2) Okay, you've got your notion of what would count as a god existing. Er, you might want to define existence.... does something exist if it's not in the universe? You've clarified what the contrary position of atheism is, and whether agnosticism is an intermediary stance or an overlapping one. Next up, what would the consequences of your notion of god existing or not existing be?

This is more than just navel-gazing. It's science. The moment you've got a consequence in hand, you can go searching for whether it actually exists. For example, you might be looking at the specific notion of an interventionalist god that answers the prayers of the faithful. We can conduct extensive studies to see if prayer heals the sick. (It doesn't, at least not to a degree beyond that which the placebo effect can account for. It's actually worse than a placebo in some cases. Either this means that no such god exists, or that the people who think they are the faithful actually aren't.)

If you can list consequences but can't test them yet (eg, consignment to hell, revelations to specific individuals that you cannot personally confirm), then you will have to pronounce this question as unknowable.

If there is no consequence to be found, then ask yourself, what actually is this notion of god, that adds or subtracts nothing from existence? What does it matter? It becomes an utterly academic gesture, probably not worth your time except to stave off boredom.

I identify as an atheist, in the sense that I think that the narrow definition of a personal, intervening god is false, and more broadly in the sense that I don't think any definition of theism is true. (Well, okay. I believe in toasters.) I also identify as an ignostic, in that I don't have a clear sense of what people are talking about when they talk about God, and I usually need their notions explained to me clearly before I know what they even mean. Finally, I typically don't outwardly identify as an agnostic, but would qualify as such if you required a 100% certainty.

The reason I reject the notion of a theistic deity is empiricism. If it intervenes, we should be able to notice the consequences of that intervention. If it is a personal god, then it is distinct from the everyday forces of nature. Therefore, we go looking for evidence of the supernatural and find nothing that stands up to scientific scrutiny. Granted, we have not tested all possible types of intervention. Even if we were to limit ourselves to the types of intervention that could register on our senses or instruments, the sheer number of possibilities would make that impossible. But we can go after the ones that people believe in, and so far they either don't stand up to experimental scrutiny, or can't be properly distinguished from natural events. This strongly implies that any correlation between widespread belief and actual fact is just coincidence, and I don't believe in coincidence enough to think that large swathes of humanity just happened to come to the right belief by chance.

I haven't read the rest of the thread beyond the OP yet, I'll probably make another response once I've plowed through it all.

EDIT: I predict that someone will respond to this post hailing Skippy the Wonder Poodle as Lord. Because that's how this forum rocks.
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22-12-2013, 03:33 PM
RE: Atheistic evidence or criteria for proof of God
I haven't read anything in the thread except for the OP, so no doubt what I'm about to say has already been said in one way or another.

1. Agnosticism doesn't answer the same question as theism or atheism, so you are wrong to think it's a substitute for (and therefore explicitly separate from) theism and atheism.

2. There are many different god claims, and often, with many of those god claims come a whole host of other claims. Different claims often require different evidence.

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22-12-2013, 04:15 PM
RE: Atheistic evidence or criteria for proof of God
Blasphemer! Shocking Angry Skippy the Wonder Dog is the Alpha and Omega of the pack, all roll over in his image.Bowing

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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22-12-2013, 05:23 PM
RE: Atheistic evidence or criteria for proof of God
(21-12-2013 11:26 PM)λάθε βιώσας Wrote:  I often times ask myself that if I am to choose a solid philosophical belief system or ideal instead of bouncing all about the place over truly the only 3 outlooks (Theism, Agnostic, Atheism) that I need to place criteria on all 3 before I make a decision. This thread will attempt to discover and determine what it is that philosophical atheism would accept as proof...

When it comes to my atheistic side I can't quite define what it is I would accept as evidence of God (or) gods and theistic creation.

I would like to get some advanced ideals from solid atheists on this matter... anyone can chime in of course but I prefer those who are rooted solid in one ideology or the other.

I am kind of in limbo but consider myself all 3 ideologies... if I am allowed to use it to describe my thoughts? I like them all, and often times one day to the next.
I am not an atheist any more but when I was for me it would be great evidence if I saw God or an angel with my own eyes and He would speak to me.
But then I saw an angel. So what?
I can tell myself that it was hallucination. Or may be day dream?

The best evidence for me is influence of Holy Ghost.

English is not my native language.
that awkward moment between the Premortal Existence and your Resurrection
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22-12-2013, 05:39 PM
RE: Atheistic evidence or criteria for proof of God
(22-12-2013 05:23 PM)Alla Wrote:  I am not an atheist any more but when I was for me it would be great evidence if I saw God or an angel with my own eyes and He would speak to me.
But then I saw an angel. So what?
I can tell myself that it was hallucination. Or may be day dream?

The best evidence for me is influence of Holy Ghost.

Either of those is a more likely explanation. Drinking Beverage

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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22-12-2013, 06:19 PM
RE: Atheistic evidence or criteria for proof of God
(22-12-2013 05:23 PM)Alla Wrote:  I am not an atheist any more but when I was for me it would be great evidence if I saw God or an angel with my own eyes and He would speak to me.
But then I saw an angel. So what?
I can tell myself that it was hallucination. Or may be day dream?

The best evidence for me is influence of Holy Ghost.

Let me read that back to you so you can see why I have difficulty understanding it:
"I saw the most awe inspiring thing that I could imagine, direct proof of the supernatural and firm confirmation of biblical legitimacy and accuracy. I discard this evidence as not important, because I've seen changes in people's lives that I attribute to the holy ghost and I find those changes to be more compelling evidence".

So tell us more about this unconvincing angel encounter. Under what circumstances did it occur, and what specifically did you see?

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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22-12-2013, 08:02 PM
RE: Atheistic evidence or criteria for proof of God
(22-12-2013 01:11 AM)λάθε βιώσας Wrote:  a statue of Buddha is a deity and the statues exist...

solved?

[Image: great_buddha_statue.jpg]

Deities are depicted in a variety of forms, but are also frequently expressed as having human form.

The man we know as "the Buddha" NEVER claimed to be anything more than a man, EVER.








(22-12-2013 01:22 AM)λάθε βιώσας Wrote:  
(22-12-2013 01:20 AM)Vosur Wrote:  It depends on the deity in question.

If you could give us an example to work with, that would be a start.

that is what I am trying to determine... from solidified atheists.

I edited my post on page to to reflect an example...

In eastern philosophy, which is a different way of understanding things, matter itself has life and existence as we would call it.

objects have spirits and even a stone has a soul.

Citation needed. Certainly not in the Buddha's teachings at all.

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